The Tomb of William Mulready (1811-63). Designed by Godfrey Sykes (1825-1866). Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]
This is a "six-poster Lombard Renaissance" monument (Coones), with a full-length effigy of the Royal Academician William Mulready reposing under an elaborate canopy, atop plush drapery. It brings to mind Macbeth's famous words about Duncan: "After life's fitful fever he sleeps well" (Macbeth 3, ii, 23). Made of artificial stone which has weathered rather well, it still looks impressive, despite the gasometer in the background. Round the base are "incised miniature representations of some of Mulready's popular paintings" (Coones).
Mulready could not have had a more prestigious memorial here. Godfrey Sykes was a celebrated designer, at this time a "key figure" in the decoration of the Victoria and Albert Museum (Crawley 70). The tomb stands prominently on the cemetery's Centre Avenue.
Coones, Paul. Kensal Green Cemetery: A Concise Introductory Guide & Select List of Notable Monuments, Together with a Plan. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, 1994.
Crawley, David. Introduction to Victorian Style. London: Eagle Editions, 1998.
Last modified 23 January 2009